You’ve come up with a business idea. You may or may not have been following the dream for years. Blood sweat and tears have gone into your company. You’ve struggled, but you got your first, then second member of staff. You have a team. You have people working in an office, at home and even from Starbucks.
You’ve bought machines from PC World, you’ve even had the kid you know build you a couple. You have over 20 members of staff dotted all round. You don’t need an IT strategy do you? You’ve built everything up yourself and everything has worked fine? But could your IT be done better by a professional ?
No wait, you tried speaking to an IT company and they’re rip-off merchants charging several hundreds of pounds more for hardware and support than you could do yourself.
This is what we think you should know:
- It’s all about strategy. Here at Unleashed, we believe wholeheartedly in using IT to support a business produce management information for its own internal uses as well as it’s clients. If your Technology Strategy doesn’t meet the needs of your business strategy, then you’re just buying kit with no plan and no purpose. We use the Unleashing Process to ensure that what we do always remains relevant to your business, even after we’ve finished our projects and carrying out business-as-usual support. If a potential IT supplier hasn’t asked more questions about what you do and what’s special about your company than they’ve asked about what kit you want and where, then these aren’t the guys you’re looking for!
- Consumer Technology is not necessarily Business Technology. Okay, lines are blurred these days. A Mac is a Mac, but PC’s are sold at varying degrees of qualities. Cheap machines from PC World don’t often come with three year on-site warranties or are made from components that the manufacturers back for higher grade business systems. So unless you want to be swapping PC’s out, leaving yourself open to lost data, system migrations and unproductive staff then it’s really important to look carefully at whether you’re buying for yourself or your business.
- Not all clouds have silver linings. Okay, so you’re down with the cool kids. You have embraced Dropbox, you’re even shelling out for a business account, works great? It does work great, but are you aware of what impact this has on your data? Bits and pieces of your data is shuffled around data centres around the world, and you have a glaringly obvious responsibility to UK and EU law. The Data Protection Act states that personal information should not go across EU borders. It has also occurred that a number of cloud providers have closed their businesses and left customers without access to their data. Like we say, it’s all about strategy. Figuring out that you want to work flexible and finding the best way of doing it.
- You’re only a small business, information security is for the government and the big boys. Nope, whilst the big companies have had high profile data losses, the most common and unreported incidences are with smaller companies. The EU are bringing out more regulations this year that really requires businesses to take more precautions, your laptop fleet as well as cloud storage will need to be encrypted and monitored as a minimum. What’s more if you’re going to encrypt your laptop fleet then a business grade machine is the best way of doing it due to the performance enhancements in this area.
- Find a partner who knows what they’re talking about. Not all companies are born equal, it all comes down to the people, the culture and the attitudes. We like to think people do business with people and here at Unleashed we’re passionate about supporting other businesses in maximising the use of IT to become more efficient and competitive. You need to focus on your business strategy and not be dealing with IT, so it’s important to find a company you trust. If you want know what’s the difference between a bog standard IT company and a company who is all about Technology Strategy and business improvement then give us a call.